A Librarian's Programming Odyssey
October 08, 2012
I must admit that in my young adult years, before the birth of my son, I did not utilize my local public Library branch as much as I could have. What can I say, I was busy. My teenaged mind was on other things. As I look back, I realize that I missed something important by not noticing the Library. How could I not have seen this opportunity that was right before me? Of course, the Library has changed a bit since then. There were no Internet computers way back then. Not even self-checkout! How awful! It was a much quieter place, that is for sure...Oh, and how could I forget the card catalog! I recently went into a small library in Shelbina, MO. The library there is one of the libraries that Andrew Carnegie helped to establish.
I really enjoyed my visit to this library. I was doing a little genealogy, and to my joy, the information that I needed was in a good "old Fashioned" wooden card catalog! I was so happy to be looking for my information in this. This is not to say that the library there is not up to date. If you read the history of this library, you will note that they have public computers. Several times over the years, additions and remodeling have occurred to make it the library that it is today. If you happen to get to Shelbina someday, I do recommend that you stop by, even if it is for just a quick look.
I don’t remember a lot of programming at my local Library when I was younger, though I am sure they had storytimes. But back then, my mother worked full-time, and I did not get the chance to go. I did take my son when I could, and he enjoyed them when he sat still!
Nowadays, MCPL, as well as many other public libraries, offers toddlertime for little ones aged 18-36 months and storytimes for all ages. Special programs are offered at all times of the year for all ages. To find out more about events offered by MCPL, check out our Events page.
When I began my job here at the North Oak Branch, I was very nervous. I set up mostly adult programs and a few of the children’s programs. I am by nature a shy person and pretty reserved in unfamiliar environments. I had to learn to come out of my shell. I had to meet lots of new people. I learned and I grew as I became more comfortable. I became my family's personal librarian! I also learned that the Library is changing, and I am changing with it. I still set up programming here, and every day, there is a new challenge as I try to meet the needs of our customers.
It is challenging to try to make sure that the programs that we offer are programs that are wanted. It helps when a customer comes up and says, "Why don’t you have..." or "I saw that Antioch had this, can you do it, too?" This is only one way that we choose the programs that we have here. We also have very technical type demographics that we use that tell us who our customers are and what type of programming to provide based on this information. When it is time for me to get together with my manager and coworkers to plan the next years events (and yes it is sometimes a whole year ahead!), I also take into consideration the season I am planning for and any holidays that are coming up. Special celebrations are taken into consideration as well. Many might think this is an easy job and I know that I do enjoy it most of the time, but I don’t think I would use the word easy to describe any job here at the Library! One thing that I use that is not listed in any "manual" on setting up programming, if there is one, is good "old fashioned" intuition. I note what kinds of materials are checked out most often. I listen to the customers as they talk about what they need in books or other resources. I also take into account things that I find interesting and "bounce" them off of other staff or customers. So, the Library is changing, but you know what they say, "The more things change the more they stay the same."
Some events coming up here at North Oak is:
October 15, 2012, Monday at 7:00 PM
Thundermaker and Other Scary Stories
(For teens) Registration is required.
October 26, 2012, Friday at 2:00 PM
Be Aware of the Dog
(Ages 4 and up) Registration is required.
October 30, 2012, Tuesday at 7:00 PM
Not-So-Scary Halloween Show
(All ages) Registration is required.
If you have a suggestion of a program that you would like to see at North Oak, simply comment on this blog and I will do my very best!
North Oak Branch